New Year’s Garden Resolutions

The start of each year is a great time to plan and plan to make changes. Just as people do for their health, fitness and occupations and careers, I would encourage every gardener to make resolutions about their garden. In the past I have long lists of 10 plus things I want to change in my garden or even in my relationship with my garden, but this year there are only 6 … and I am hoping that by having less I have more chance of achieving them.

  1.  Spend more time in the garden on a regular basis, particularly in the vegie patch.

2.  Resist the temptation to do little more than maintain what I have done over summer and wait until autumn when the weather is more favourable to get stuck into new planting projects.

3.  Keep working on the soil in my garden, especially in the vegie patch, as it takes years to get good vegie garden soil. The better the soil, the better the harvest, the healthier the plants, and the less pest and disease problems you need to deal with. Soil is improved by adding organic matter in the form of compost and aged animal manures and feeding it regularly with organic fertiliser. Often I have these fertilisers in my shed and simply don’t get around to putting them out. Need to make more effort and feed the garden with organic fertiliser once a season at least.

4.  Get better at successionally planting in the vegie patch to keep us in a regular supply of our staples. The things that need to be planted regularly to supply our household are lettuces, Mesclun mix, coriander, Asian vegetables, leeks and spring onions.

5.  Learn more by reading gardening books and columns, attending more garden, nature or garden talks, talking to experts in their fields, and visiting other gardens.

6.  Try to do things at the right time but be kinder on myself if I don’t and tasks run late. Last year my sweet peas were sowed more than two months later than they should have, and they still grew well, and I only just pulled the plants out in the last month. So, I missed a few early flowers, who cares!? I still treasured the ones I got! Similarly, I need to be more flexible and adaptable when things go wrong. Sometimes you may need to sow things several times before the conditions are favourable for them to germinate, and I cannot expect others to care for my garden or baby seedlings the way I would when I am away, so I either need to get an automatic watering system or accept the carnage. I am going for the former and hope to have it up and running by next spring.